The High School Intern Program (HIP) application for summer 2023 have now closed.

Information Sessions for SEP’s 2023 High School Programs:

Please click on the button to view a recording of our information session, a chance to hear more about SEP’s high school programs and see program details side by side.

Please note that these information sessions are for students from SFUSD, SF Charter Schools or SF College Track.

High School Intern Program

Each summer, SFUSD high school students conduct original research under the direction of a UCSF scientist mentor. This is a rigorous and intense program with just eight weeks for students to complete and present their research projects. Unlike most other high school research programs in the country, acceptance into the High School Intern Program (HIP) is not contingent upon students’ grades, commitments to a career in science, or paths to college. Rather, HIP seeks to support students’ growth and recognition of their own potential by engaging them with authentic science research projects, peer sharing and learning, and individual college counseling. HIP aims to help students develop a sense of belonging in order to broaden their ideas about their own place in college and careers in the biomedical sciences. The majority of program participants come from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences (minority, low-income, women, from families without a history of college-going, and/or students with disabilities). In order to participate, a student must be a rising senior and attend an SFUSD high school, SF charter school, or participate in College Track San Francisco.

Each year, 10 of our high school interns are supported with funding from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). In addition to conducting research specifically related to stem cells and regenerative medicine, these interns are part of a larger community of California high school students participating in CIRM’s Summer Program to Accelerate Regenerative Medicine Knowledge (SPARK) program. This statewide cohort communicates with the general public about their research experiences through blog and social media postings, and they participate in an annual SPARK conference to share their summer research projects. Read about the experiences of our CIRM SPARK interns on our blog. Check out other CIRM SPARK interns from all over California: The Stem Cellar

An additional 10 students are funded by the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

My greatest accomplishment was becoming comfortable and confident enough to present my work to my peers multiple times toward the end of the program. At first I had no idea how I could possibly present such complicated science; however, I came to realize that with focus I could learn almost anything.

 HIP has first of all given me hope that I could do something with my life someday.

- High School Intern

2023 Timeline

  • January: teachers and students receive application information
  • February: students apply
  • March: students interview
  • June: students begin their internship
  • August: students conclude their internship

Nationally, student background correlates with college success:

However, longitudinal outcomes for HIP alumni are inspiring:

These outcomes can only be achieved with the dedicated efforts of the UCSF faculty who generously host interns in their labs, and the UCSF researchers who devote their time and skills to mentoring and inspiring them.

In recognition of HIP’s success, the program received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in 2011.

You can learn more about HIP and its longitudinal outcomes in this 2020 Journal of STEM Outreach article.

HIP is one of SEP’s longest running programs and is currently funded by the UCSF Chancellor, School of Medicine and Executive Vice Chancellor and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Baskin Family Foundation.

  • Chancellor

  • School of Medicine

  • Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost